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Inland Port Board Pressured To Open All Meetings To Public

Map highlighting northwest region of Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake County GIS
Boundaries for the Utah Inland Port, highlighted in green.

The newly formed Utah Inland Port Authority board will meet later Wednesday to discuss progress on Salt Lake's planned commercial hub amid public pressure to be more transparent.

The board, which only formed this summer, has faced criticism from public advocacy groups and local officials, including Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski, for holding private subcommittee meetings behind closed doors.

More than 140 organizations have signed onto a letter calling on the body to open all of its meetings to the public.

"What we're saying is these subcommittee meetings are going to be a place where a lot of work is happening and they need to be open to the public," said Deeda Seed, an organizer with the Coalition for Port Reform.

Gov. Gary Herbert, who supports the port, told the Salt Lake Tribune this week that the 11-member board should consider opening all of its meetings to the public.

Derek Miller, the chairman of the port board, said boardmembers will consider the issue when they meet today at Salt Lake Community College's Wespointe Center.

"We're cautiously optimistic that today they will vote to open those meetings," Seed said.

The board is overseeing the development of an international trading hub connecting air, rail and trucks on more than 16,000 acres of northwest Salt Lake City. The port was created through legislation passed by state lawmakers during the 2018 session.

The port board has weathered previous controversies after conflicts of interest came to light for two former members during its first unofficial meeting in June. Those members, Sen. Don Ipson and House Speaker Greg Hughes, resigned from the board and were replaced.

WHAT: Utah Inland Port Authority Board Meeting

WHERE: SLCC Westpointe Center, 1060 North Flyer Way, Room 102, SLC, UT 84116

WHEN: 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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